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Head of Zeus
The Man on a Donkey
The Man on a Donkey by H.F.M. Prescott, introduction by John Cooper

'The most immersive book I've ever read... Truly brings Tudor England to life' Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Times

'One of the finest historical novels ever written' TLS

A forgotten literary masterpiece, The Man on a Donkey is less about the great figures who shape historical change and more about what it's like to live through it.

This is a sweeping, immersive historical novel that invites the reader to inhabit Tudor history as it unfolds: Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon; Robert Aske's rebels fighting the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the machinations of Cardinal Wolsey and Anne Boleyn.

It is, quite simply, one of the finest historical novels ever written.

'A masterpiece' Eamon Duffy

'A classic of historical fiction... Captures all the poignant strangeness of the era' Hilary Mantel

Head of Zeus, an Apollo Library book * Fiction
01 Dec 2016 * 720pp * £10 * 9781784977719
'A novel that truly brings Tudor England to life... Reading her prose is less like looking at words on a page and more like looking through a window... [Unlike] any other historical novel I've read'
Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Times
'By widespread assent, one of the finest historical novels ever written'
'The great beauty of the writing... The words caress the imagination'
Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail
'A classic of historical fiction... Blends real and invented characters and captures all the poignant strangeness of the era'
Hilary Mantel
'A masterpiece'
Eamon Duffy

H.F.M. Prescott

H.F.M. Prescott
H.F.M. Prescott (1896–1972) is best known for her historical novel The Man on a Donkey and her biography of Mary Tudor, which won the James Tait Black Prize in 1941. The daughter of a clergyman, she read Modern History at Oxford and later received MA degrees there and at Manchester. Her wide-ranging interests included travel and a deep love of the English countryside that lasted all her life.
John Cooper
John Cooper
John Cooper is an author and historian of the Tudor period. He studied at Merton College Oxford for his BA and doctorate, and is now based at the University of York. The author of Propaganda and the Tudor State and The Queen's Agent, John has worked as a historical consultant for the BBC and Starz, and is a popular public lecturer on the history, art and architecture of Tudor England. Most recently, he has led a series of projects investigating the Palace of Westminster, the lost chapel of St Stephen and the House of Commons. John is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, joint editor of the journal Parliamentary History and became Director of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2021.
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